The White Sox have reached a one-year deal worth $2.5 million to bring back 15-year veteran and franchise icon Paul Konerko for the 2014 season, as first reported by Ken Rosenthal of Fox Sports. Scott Melkin of MLB.com was the first to provide the price information.
Konerko battled back problems in 2013 and posted a his lowest OPS since becoming an everyday player in 1999, with a .244/.313/.355. Prior to last season, the 37-year-old had been incredible productive and consistent as the White Sox every day first baseman and star hitter. In his 15-year career with the White Sox he has hit .283/.359/.495 with 427 home runs and 1361 RBIs.
In 2014, he is expected to play a much lesser role with the team. The White Sox signed Cuban first baseman Jose Dariel Abreu early in the off-season and he expected to be their everyday first baseman. Unless the team is able to deal veteran DH Adam Dunn, Konerko will serve as bench depth at first and an occasional right-handed option at DH, according to Bruce Levine of WSCR-AM in Chicago.
In an unusual twist, Konerko's deal will pay him $1.5 million during the 2014 season and the additional million will be deferred until 2021, reports Rosenthal.
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